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    A MOUNTAIN PICTURE   Table of Contents

Smith, Effie Waller
Rhymes from the Cumberland





There's Beauty All Around Us ... 29

Violets ... 30

The Maple's Leaves Were Scarlet ... 31

Beautiful Moon ... 32

A Meadow Brook ... 32

On Receiving a Deer-Skin ... 33

When You Are With Me ... 34

A Recollection ... 35

In the Years That Are To Come ... 37

"The Best Of All, God Is With Us" ... 37

There's a Bright and Beautiful City ... 38

He Is Risen ... 39

To An Old Class-Mate ... 40

Do You Know? ... 41

I Need Thee Every Hour ... 42

"How Beautiful It Is To Be With God" ... 42

Sing a Song Of Autumn ... 43

Christmas ... 44

On Receiving a Souvenir Post-Card ... 45

The 'Frisco Earthquake ... 48

The "Bachelor Girl" ... 49

There's a Mound In West Virginia ... 51

Some Day ... 52

Lines Written On Fly-Leaf ... 53



All around us there is beauty
On the leaves of Nature's book,
And while in the path of duty
Ought we not at them to look?

Oh, why should we within a field
Of fresh blooming roses rare
See but the thorns that're half-concealed
Underneath the blossoms fair?

Or why should we the lilies tread
With our clumsy, careless feet?
"Consider them," Our Savior said,
"In their loveliness complete."

While daily through the world we move
With duty's path around us,
Let's train our eyes to see and love
The beauties that surround us.

Let us sometimes watch the sun rise
As the moments hasten by,
Glowing with rich resplendent dyes
In the far off eastern sky.

And at morning let us listen
While the birds their carols sing,
While the silvery dew-drops glisten
And the cow-bells faintly ring.

When beneath the elm we rest
While blows the evening wind
As the Day-god in the west
Sinks the mountain's crest behind.

When the stars are faintly peeping
From the heavens one by one,
When shadows are dimly creeping,
When the busy day is done.

Then as we meditate and dream
With Nature wonderingly,
Perhaps our cares will lighter seem,
And our work less irksome be.


Oh, lovely, lovely violets,
So dainty and so blue,
So modest yet so beautiful,
Whene'er I look at you

I mind me of a gone-by day,
When in a woodland glade,
Beside a purling brooklet,
Beneath an elm's shade.

We sat and plucked the violets
That blossomed by us there,
Shedding their sweet perfume
Upon the woodland air.

We made sweet nose-gays of their blooms,
We tried our fortunes, too,
With them, though long ago that's been,
They told our fortunes true.


The maple's leaves were scarlet,
The golden rods were bright,
The birdies to the South land
Had winged their homeward flight.

The katydids were calling
Beneath the spreading yew,
In hollows near the forest's edge
The grapes were turning blue.

The sumac's crimson berries shone
By brook and dusty road,
Within our dooryards gorgeous blooms
Of tall chrysanth'mums glowed.

When hand in hand they vowed to walk
Life's pathway here together,
Through poverty or riches and
Through fair or stormy weather.

And share together all the pains
And pleasures that await them,
Through health or sickness love none else
'Till death should separate them.


Beautiful goddess of the night,
Shining gently from above,
Whisper to me, oh, moon so bright,
Whisper of my absent love.
Moon, oh, beautiful moon, so bright,
Shedding gently your radiant light,
Tell me to-night, fair moon, won't you,
Does my sweetheart love me true?

Moon, as upon my pillow white
Your bright beams fall from above,
Bathing my head with mellow light,
Oh, let me dream of my love.
Moon, oh, beautiful moon, so bright,
Let me dream of my love to-night;
Tell me of him, oh, fair moon, do,
Tell me does he love me true?


There's a quiet nook by a meadow brook
In my old Kentucky home far away,
'Tis a cool retreat from the scorching heat
How I wish I were there to-day.

There to lie on the grass while the breezes pass,
Where the violet sweetly grows,
And high overhead the elm trees spread
Their vine and leaf-clad boughs.

'Tis indeed a treat supremely sweet
For the nature-loving soul;
There lilies wave and gently lave
In the water clear and cool.

How often there from perplexing care
Listening to the brooklet's flow,
Have I laid at rest on the grassy breast
Of Mother Earth long ago.

Those days have sped, have swiftly fled
On the wings of time away,
But in memory yet I can't forget
That meadow brook far away.

TO W. K.

With my bare feet on my deer-skin,
The firelight glowing bright,
In my old and creaky rocker
I sit alone to-night.

While imagination holds me
Within her fond embrace,
With the lithe, fleet-footed deer
I rove from place to place.

Far out among the western wilds,
Beyond the turbid tide
Of the Mississippi river,
Beyond prairies wide.

I gaze upon the geysers high,
And boiling springs of water,
I see the great Missouri where
Enormous cedars border.

I see the Indian's bark canoe
Adown its bosom dashing,
I see majestic cataracts
And hear their mighty splashing.

I see the panther and the wolf,
And birds with plumage rare,
I see the horned buffalo,
And shaggy, grizzly bear.

I wander through dark fastnesses
Where weird breezes blow,
I climb the craggy rugged peaks
Cered o'er with ice and snow.

Among the Rockies' vales I pluck
The brightest beauties strewn
By Flora's lavish hand, and find
Rare specimens of stone.

I thank you for this deer-skin rug
Before my fireside bright,
And my imaginative journey
To the western wilds to-night.


Richer tints the western sky
Shows at sunset, darling mine,
Which all artist's paints defy:
Gorgeous, splendid, e'en divine,
When you are with me.

And when the lowliest flower
In Spring its leaves unfold,
(Be its home on hill or moor)
Sweeter fragrance seems to hold,
When you are with me.

Where flows yon winding stream
Among the alders green,
More lovely does its waters seem,
More calm and more serene,
When you are with me.

In grove and meadow sing the birds
More sweetly and more gayly,
When I'm listening to your hopeful words
Of our futurity,
When you are with me.


Once there in my garden fair
Sang a bird of plumage rare,
From its throat there came to greet
My ear sweet music--strangely sweet.

Once a flower of lovely hue
In this self same garden grew,
Blossomed--oh, so sweetly there
That its breath perfumed the air.

Once a flower of lovely hue
This same garden murmured through,
Over shining stones it played,
Softest, richest music made.

In this garden 'neath a tree
That cast its copious shade for me,
Was a restful cool retreat
From the noonday's scorching heat.

Now no richly plumaged bird
Singing in my garden's heard,
A milder zone it's sought than this;
Ah, its sweet songs how I miss.

Now no flower of lovely hue
Glittering with morning dew
Sheds its perfume in the air--
It has dropped its petals fair.

In my garden near the hill
Flows the self same brooklet still,
But it makes no rippling sound
For with ice and snow 'tis bound.

And the elm tree that made
Such a copious, cooling shade,
Void of foliage is it now,
Naked each brown spreading bough.

Birdie, flower, brooklet, tree,
You all now are gone from me;
But 'till now I never knew
That I loved you as I do.

Little thought I, dear sweetheart,
On that morn ere we did part
When from me you claimed a kiss
That your presence I would miss;
For ere then I did not know--
Did not dream I loved you so.

Could we only know before
'Tis too late what is in store
For us; what of storm and rain,
What of sadness, grief and pain.

We'd enjoy the glad sunlight
While it lasts ere comes the night,
And our friends so kind and dear
We would love and prize and cheer.


When my hair is thin and gray,
When there's wrinkles on my brow;
When my eyes are dim, and when
Feeble is my step and slow,
This one question I would ask,
This one question, sweetheart, dear,
Will you love me then as now,
Love me truly and sincere.



When trials hard and sore we meet,
When thorns are piercing our tired feet,
When heavy clouds o'erspread the sky,
When winds are wild and waves dash high,
The best of all, God is with us."

When earthly friends unfaithful prove,
When kindred hearts have ceased to love,
When grief the heart has sorely tried,
When Satan tempts on every side,
"The best of all, God is with us."

When we pass through death's valley dark
Of earthly light, without a spark,
When earthly friends from us have gone,
When earthly help and hopes have flown,
"The best of all, God is with us."

And when we reach that shining shore
Up yonder, where we die no more,
Up yonder, where from sin we're free,
The sweetest fact to us will be,
"The best of all, God is with us."


There's a bright and beautiful city,
A beautiful city on high;
A beautiful city for you and me,
Far, far beyond the sky.

The streets of that city with gold are paved,
The gates are of pearls pure and white,
And the walls are of rare and precious stones
Most beautiful and bright.

In that city are never-fading flowers,
There the tree of Life ever grows;
And the river of Life so clear and pure
Through that beautiful city flows.

No moon nor stars ever shine there
For there never is any night,
Nor no sun is there to shine by day
For the Savior is the light.

The inhabitants never do get sick
In that fair city on high,
And they never need any graveyards there
For they never, never die.


"He is not here," the angel said
To Mary, who, with silent tread,
With weeping eyes and bowed down head,
Sought her Lord among the dead.

"The tomb is empty, come and see;
Your Lord's not here, oh, no, not He;
This is His tomb, and these His clothes,
But He's not here, for He has rose."

May we like Him--our Savior rise
From things of low and weak disguise,
Rise from the trifling things of earth
To things of high intrinsic worth.

Rise from the world's perplexing strife
Unto a higher, nobler life;
A life from sin's pollution free,
A life of spotless purity!


As your letter I read, dear Mary,
To-night in my room alone,
I am made happy, very,
As I think of days by gone.

Now at your face, my dearie,
With fanciful eyes I gaze,
And hear again your voice so cheery
As in the olden days.

Those days of our school career
When life was full of glee,
Although I was your senior, dear,
You seemed a mother to me.

O'er books with pensive eyes we'd gaze
To solve the problems there,
Which fitted us for life's broad ways
And possibilities, my dear.

We walk life's broadened ways to-day,
Solve at its problems, too,
More deep and more perplexing they
Than those our text-books knew.

Since you were with me, Mary, dear,
The years have sped away, how fast;
Some spent in smiles and some in tears,
However spent they're of the past.


Do you know the grapes are purpling,
And the nuts are falling down?
Do you know the leaves are turning,
Turning yellow, red and brown?

Do you know the grass has withered,
That it does no longer grow?
Do you know the white field-daisy
Faded, faded long ago?

Do you know that in the orchard
Apple trees are bending down
With their weight of red, red pippins
And of russets golden brown?

Do you know down by the roadside
By the road you oft have trod,
Blooming lovely 'spite of dust
Is the gaudy golden rod?

Do you know that in the cornfield
Heaps of yellow pumpkins lie?
Do you know that to the Southland
Birdies have begun to fly?

If you'd leave the smoky city
You would know these things, my dear,
And would only look about you,
You would know that Autumn's here.


"I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord,"
With majesty and power
With one accord.

Sang the village choir at church
Truthful words of prayer,
Could we but know how much
We need Thee here.

How much we need Thy guidance
When roads are drear,
How much we need Thy aidance
When sin is near.

Believing on Thy precious word
And mercy free,
May I thus ever pray, "Dear Lord,
I need, oh, I need Thee."


"How beautiful it is to be with God."
Truer and sweeter words by dying lips
Than those above were never said,
Courage and hope and comfort, all, they brought
To those who mourned around your bed.

"How beautiful it is to be with God."
For many years you realized this fact
Walking beside Him day by day
With unfeigned love along life's checkered way,
Having no other wish but to obey.

"How beautiful it is to be with God."
Like you endeavoring hard to 'stablish right;
Helping seeds of kindness to sow,
Helping to cheer the lonely hearts, and bring
A ray of sunshine where you go.

"How beautiful it is to be with God."
Lovingly to sympathize with those
Whose lives are saddened and to speak
In mild and gentle tones reproving oft
Our brothers who are wayward and weak.

"How beautiful it is to be with God."
When life is closing fast and visions of
The mysterious future appear,
'Tis beautiful indeed amid the gloom
To feel, to know that He is near.

"How beautiful it is to be with God."
Dear soul, we hope, we feel assured that you
In bliss unbounded now behold
Your dear Redeemer face to face and walk
With Him the City's streets of gold.


Sing a song of Autumn,
Flowers no more in bloom,
Shedding all around us
Their balmy, rich perfume.

In vain we look for flowers,
For they're faded all, and dead,
But the woodland still is brilliant
With bright-hued leaves instead.

The frost has nipped the clover
And left the meadows brown;
Hickory nuts and chestnuts
From the trees are falling down.


In a country far, far away,
Far beyond the rolling sea,
To the little town of Bethle'em
Shepherds wond'ring came to see
Him of whom the heavenly choir
Sang with gladness, sang with might,
Of His birth and of His glory
On that holy sacred night.

Loud those Judean hills re-echoed,
Loud and joyously they rang,
What the angel choir so sweetly
And so gladly, gladly sang.
Sang they of the Father's mercy
Who to us the Christ-babe gave
For our own and full redemption,
Mercy rich and free to save!

It is not ours to listen now
To a host of angels sing
Loud and sweet the welcome tidings
Which to earth they gladly bring,
Nor ours with wonderment to gaze
O'er a manger cradle low,
As did once those pious shepherds
In Judea long ago.

For the Redeemer that was born
In that country far away,
His coming has not been forgot,
Still He lives and reigns to-day.
Oh, holy one of Bethlehem,
Come be born in us to-day,
"Love divine, all love excelling,"
In our hearts hold perfect sway.


On the little desk before me
A pictured post-card lies,
Fondly I'm looking at it
With saddened tear-dimmed eyes.

The postman came this morning
And brought this card to me,
It was sent from Kentucky, where
My childhood's home used to be.

The rustic scene in black and white,
Imperfect tho' and small,
Engraved upon this post-card,
Might not interest you at all.

You may not care to look at it,
What matter if you don't;
Your not having any interest, for
This pictured post-card won't.

Make less for me the memories
And thoughts of "yet olden tyme,"
Freighted with love and tenderness
And which to-day entwine.

Fondly around my yearning heart
As with tear-dimmed eyes I gaze
At this bit of scenery and think
Over my childhood days.

I think of one in particular
Who has figured so much in my life,
One to whom I was playmate in childhood
Afterward sweetheart and wife.

There's the winding Sandy river
And the "Big Rocks" by its side,
Where together we've sat fishing,
Or looking across the tide.

Have wondered at the steamboats
Painted in colors gay
On the other side of the river
Smoking and puffing away.

Or at the town in the distant
Sometimes we'd sit and gaze
And dream bright dreams of the future--
Air castles of childhood days.

And if our thoughts and opinions
On matters would differ then,
We'd fall out and quarrel, but always
Would forgive and make up again.

There's the "forks" in the old country road
Shaded with sycamores cool,
Where each afternoon we parted
On our way home from school.

And he, always courteous and gallant
With manly pride and grace,
Would carry my books and lunch pail
To this our parting place.

Those days are gone, forever gone,
Those care-free days of childhood,
Yet, I would not call them back to live
Over again if I could.

For he, my childhood's playmate,
My girlhood's lover and chum,
Still walks life's pathway with me
And for many years we've come

Sometimes through darkened valleys,
Sometimes on the mountain's height,
Sometimes 'neath cloud-hung heavens,
Sometimes in the sunshine bright.

We are closely united now,
For we're married and we feel
Each other's interests more keenly
And we're chums and lovers still.


While the earth shook and trembled and hungry flames wild
Leaped skyward as building on building were piled.
They perish by thousands, fathers and mothers,
Husbands, wives, sisters, sweethearts and brothers;
The rich and the poor, the high and the low,
In the beautiful city of San Francisco.
Sad, sad was their fate; sad, sad was their fate
In the fair city of the Golden Gate;
In the city of flowers and sunlight,
In the city so gay and so bright,
Sad, ah, sad was their fate!

Death came when the first rosy tints of the morn
In the eastern sky were beginning to dawn.
What hopes and ambitions were then holding sway
In the hearts of those people on San 'Frisco bay
When death came to claim them eternity knows,
Eternity knows and can only disclose.
Sad, sad was their fate; sad, sad was their fate
In the fair city of the Golden Gate;
In the city of flowers and sunlight,
In the city so gay and so bright,
Sad, ah, sad was their fate!


She's no "old maid," she's not afraid
To let you know she's her own "boss,"
She's easy pleased, she's not diseased,
She is not nervous, is not cross.

She's no desire whatever for
Mrs. to precede her name,
The blessedness of singleness
She all her life will proudly claim.

She does not sit around and knit
On baby caps and mittens,
She does not play her time away
With puggy dogs and kittens.

And if a mouse about the house
She sees, she will not jump and scream;
Of handsome beaux and billet doux
The "bachelor girl" does never dream.

She does not puff and frizz and fluff
Her hair, nor squeeze and pad her form.
With painted face, affected grace,
The "bachelor girl" ne'er seeks to charm.

She reads history, biography,
Tales of adventure far and near,
On sea or land, but poetry and
Love stories rarely interest her.

She's lots of wit, and uses it,
Of "horse sense," too, she has a store;
The latest news she always knows,
She scans the daily papers o'er.

Of politics and all the tricks
And schemes that politicians use,
She knows full well and she can tell
With eloquence of them her views.

An athlete that's hard to beat
The "bachelor girl" surely is,
When playing games she makes good aims
And always strictly minds her "biz."

Amid the hurry and the flurry
Of this life she goes alone,
No matter where you may see her
She seldom has a chaperon.

But when you meet her on the street
At night she has a "32,"
And she can shoot you, bet your boots,
When necessity demands her to.

Her heart is kind and you will find
Her often scattering sunshine bright
Among the poor, and she is sure
To always advocate the right.

On her pater and her mater
For her support she does not lean,
She talks and writes of "Woman's Rights"
In language forceful and clean.

She does not shirk, but does her work,
Amid the world's fast hustling whirl,
And come what may, she's here to stay,
The self-supporting "bachelor girl."

November 1905.

There's a mound in West Virginia,
Which was made one year ago,
In November's chilly weather
When the earth was wrapped in snow;
When the skies were dull and frowning,
And the birds had flown away
To the warm and sunny South land,
Save dear Robin-red-breast gay.

The dearest treasure which my heart
On earth has ever found,
Sleeps undisturbed underneath
That West Virginia mound.
They tell me 'tis a common thing
To grieve for loved ones gone;
But ah, this fact makes not my grief
More easy to be borne!

The hope that I again shall meet
My dear lost friend somewhere,
In a far more lovely clime than this
'Mid heavenly mansions fair,
Will not remove the sadness from
My yearning spirit weak
Is not enough to keep away
The tear-drops from my cheek.


The pathway thou art walking now
With weary feet, dear one,
Hedged in by briers and poison vine,
Bestrewn with sticks and stone:
Oh, grumble not, 'twill lead thee to
A smoother and a better way
Shaded by broad-armed elm trees
And fringed with flowers--some day.

Oh, weary toiling one,
Whose brow is wet with sweat,
Mind not thy task, though it be,
Mind not the scorching heat.
Toil on and sing a little bit
In cheerful tones and gay
While at thy work, and don't forget
There's rest for thee--some day.

And thou, bereaved one,
Why grieve and sorrow on
With low-dropped head and weeping eyes
For loved ones dead and gone.
Believe and trust the Father
Who has taken them away,
Knoweth best and will give them
Again to thee--some day.

Lines written on the fly-leaf of a volume of
poems presented to Mary Elliot Flanery.

Dear Mrs. Flanery :

As your eager eyes peruse
These pages over and again,
These verses sent me by the muse
I'd have you know that not in vain,
You wrote those sincere words of praise
Of me who sprang from humble birth,
Sprang from a race down trod and low,
Cursed, abused, despised of earth.
A pleasant fact it is to know
(Though now it's not Anti-slavery days)
That that same principle possessed
By Summer, Phillips, Whittier, Stowe
Vibrates within your noble breast,
Which fortune cannot overthrow,
Which ridicule cannot remove.
A heart more generous than your own
To freedom and to human kind
The flight of years have never known,
Have never, never dared to find.
Live long your principles to prove.

    A MOUNTAIN PICTURE   Table of Contents